I will be blogging about the Real Estate Market, and other topics.

The BAD Blogger

It is an interesting fact, at least for me, that I am a bad blogger. I did not start out this way, it seems to have just happened along the way.

When I started out, I wrote about what was on my mind. Next I started looking for information to share, stories and Santa Cruz Real Estate market insight. Then I moved on to sharing real life situations that I came across dealing with Santa Cruz home buyers and Santa Cruz home sellers.

Lately, I have been stumped, I have not had any mind blowing thoughts or ideas to share. Sure, I could talk about how the Santa Cruz Real Estate market has some terrific deals, and some real dogs. I could share about the house that just sold where they buyer only had to put down $5,000.00 and the sellers financed his purchase, he is a pretty damn happy buyer.

It just seems there is so much going on, that I have a hard time wrapping my head around just one thought. Honestly, I talk all day long-sometimes I am just flat out of words.I did make a commitment to blog. I have been failing at living up to what I promised, I will try to do better.

Are you interested in Santa Cruz Real Estate,Buying or Selling Homes in Santa Cruz? Feel free to email me at Contact Me and I will be happy to provide you with information,listings and a FREE market analysis.

Why Do We Always Screw Up New Technology?

Why Do We Always Screw Up New Technology?

Staying Current

Having just spent an entire week at Keller Williams Agent/Leadership Mega Camp in Austin Texas, I can share a few insights.

There is absolutely no way a Realtor in today's fast paced world can stay on the top of their game, ahead of the pack without treating their business like a real business. Treat this business like a hobby, and you are out of date and out of luck.

You need to take the time to learn and grow, mix and meet and share best practices.
There is always someone who has a keener sense of how to maximize exposure to their listings and themselves. In order for you to stay current, you must spend time learning.

This last week was filled with so many ideas, best practices and concepts that I doubt there was any single agent who regrets spending the time, money or energy in Austin.

With close to 11,000 in attendance, I promise you there will be a renewed sense of purpose and goals surfacing.

I have shared a link of just one presenter,Chris did a great job on sharing information in a fun and insightful manner. Why Do We Always Screw Up New Technology?">

Now I am off to facebook..Interested in sharing your insights.

Are you interested in Santa Cruz Real Estate,Buying or Selling Homes in Santa Cruz? Feel free to email me at Contact Me and I will be happy to provide you with information,listings and a FREE market analysis.

Bright Spots/Tara-Nicholle Nelson

5 bright spots in real estate recession
Mood of the Market

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Inman News™
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The real estate market meltdown was much more severe and has lasted much longer than even the most bearish housing market observer would ever have predicted. Rather than values taking a dip, they've taken a double dip in many places; and the housing sector drama has infected the job market and the entire world's economy.

Yet, there are some very shiny silver linings to this whole mess -- a handful of ways in which our mindsets, habits, behaviors and approaches to money, mortgage and even life decision-making -- have been changed by this real estate market debacle. As I see it, here are the five best things about this otherwise terrible housing recession:

People now buy for the long term. Even Jeff Lewis, that reality TV house flipper extraordinaire, has declared that he's tapped out of the flipping business for the foreseeable future, trading in his real estate wheeling and dealing for the design business.

Recently, he mentioned having lost six homes in the real estate market crash. While Lewis flipped homes as his business, just five years ago, many Americans -- homeowners and investors alike -- took a short-term view on their homes, buying them with the idea that they could count on refinancing, pulling cash out or even reselling them anytime they wanted, at a profit.

Reality check -- those days are gone. Now, buyers know they'd better be prepared to stay put for somewhere between seven and 10 years (shorter in strong local markets, longer in foreclosure hot spots) before they buy if they want to break even. And this is causing them to take mortgages they can afford over time, and make smarter, longer-term choices about the homes they buy.

Dysfunctional properties are being weeded out and creatively reused. Municipalities like Detroit and Cleveland are demolishing blighted and decrepit properties in dead neighborhoods en masse, intentionally shrinking their cities to match their shrinking populations. These efforts are also eliminating breeding grounds for crime, and focusing resources on the neighborhoods that have a better chance of surviving and thriving in the long term.

In the so-called "slumburbias" of central California, Nevada and Arizona, McMansions are being repurposed into affordable housing for groups of seniors, artist communities and group homes.

American housing stock is getting an energy-efficient upgrade. The news would have you believe that every American has lost his or her home, walked away from it, or is now renting by choice. In fact, the vast majority of homeowners have simply decided to stay put.

Instead of selling and moving on up, homeowners are improving the homes they now plan to stay in for a long(er) haul. And this generation of remodeling is focused less on granite and stainless steel, and more on lowering the costs of "operating" the home and taking advantage of tax credits for installing energy-efficient doors, windows, water heaters and more. And while the first-time homebuyer tax credit is a thing of the past, the homeowner tax credits for energy-optimizing upgrades are in effect until the end of this year.

People are making more responsible mortgage decisions, and building financial good habits in the process. Buyers are buying far below the maximum purchase prices for which they are approved. They are reading their loan disclosures and documents before they sign them. And, thanks to the stingy mortgage market, they are spending months, even years, in the planning and preparation phases before they buy: paying down their debt; saving up for a down payment (and a cash cushion, so that a job loss wouldn't be disastrous); being responsible and sparing in their use of credit to optimize their FICO scores; and creating strong financial habits in one fell swoop.

Our feelings about debt and equity have been reformed. Americans no longer use their homes like ATM machines, to pull out cash, pay off their credit cards and then start the whole overspending cycle over again. Many can't, because their homes are upside down and cannot be refinanced in any event -- much less to pull cash out.

Others have been reality-checked by the recession, and are dealing with their non-mortgage debt the old fashioned way: by ceasing the pattern of spending more than they make, and applying the self-discipline it takes to pay their bills off.

Home equity, in general, is no longer viewed as an inexhaustible source of cash. Rather, we see it as a fluctuating asset to be protected and increased -- not so much through the vagaries of the market, but through the hard work of paying the principal balance down. Many of those refinancing into today's lower rates aren't doing it to pull cash out, as was the norm at the top of the market; instead, they are refinancing into 15-year loans to pay their homes off sooner than planned, or reducing their required payment so their extra savings can be applied to principal.

Of course, it remains to be seen how lasting these changes will be if and when home prices go up and mortgage guidelines loosen up. But since neither of these things look likely to happen in the short term, hopefully there's a chance that these behavior shifts will become part of a permanent mindset reset for American housing consumers.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.

What's It Take

I have made what I think is an interesting observation about this business called Real Estate. It is the behind the scenes pieces that make or break a Realtor.

Anyone who has their Real Estate license starts off full of hope and ambition. Thoughts of finding great real estate, working with buyers with tons of available funds to purchase the houses they have listed with delighted happy sellers. Ha Ha

Then reality sets in, making millions of phone calls, and getting hang up after hang up, spending hard earned cash on flashy web sites, flyers and advertising only to find none of it is attracting any clients. What is an aspiring Realtor to do??

The answer is simple, the basics..know your market, share what you know with who ever you meet, ask for business, take care of the business you get, and then ask for more. Provide your buyers with knowledge and support and direction to make smart choices. Help your sellers understand what is critical to them, explain what you are doing and how your doing it to get their houses sold. ANSWER your phone calls quickly. Be kind and caring with the other agents in your world, they could be on the other side of your next deal. Be respectful and communicate with your support team, your office staff, transaction coordinators,lenders and those wonderful title and escrow agents.

Finally, treat your real estate business, like a business.

Are you interested in Santa Cruz Real Estate,Buying or Selling Homes in Santa Cruz? Feel free to email me at Contact Me and I will be happy to provide you with information,listings and a FREE market analysis.
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